Will Aging Impact My Exercise Routine?

By the time you reach your 50s and 60s, it’s more likely than not that you will begin to feel the great slow-down — you will look and feel less energetic than you once did, and you will begin to wonder whether or not it’s time to change something about your exercise routine. The worry is obvious: too much strain might cause serious damage to your body. But the good news? Daily work will allow you to stay healthy by keeping the same exercise routines.

For the most part, anyway. You might need to focus less on strength training (i.e. lifting 400 pound weights) and more on endurance training (i.e. lifting 100 pound weights 400 times). Lifting weights will increase muscle mass and endurance — and more importantly, bone density, which is apt to become weaker in your later years.

Running and cycling remain the best methods to increase your cardiovascular endurance even in your later years, and if you feel comfortable continuing to exercise strenuously, then by all means — exercise strenuously. If anything about your health situation changes (such as a long or periodic break in your exercise routine or a cardiac event), then you should seek counsel from your healthcare provider first. 

Because we slow down as we get older, it might be necessary to transition to a less strenuous but more periodic workout — especially after retirement, when health often begins to decline in the general population. What might that look like? Frequent walks, ten-minute runs around the block, twenty minutes of cycling, a trip to the pool, etc. 

Studies indicate that bouts of sedentary living — even when experienced by people who pop into the gym everyday — can lead to serious health issues later in life. To avoid these problems as you grow older, try to ask yourself a simple question: “Can I stand instead of sit?”